View Full Version : What can be done to improve Upstate NY?

July 24th, 2005, 06:50 PM
This is a thread I made a few weeks ago at SSP:

Although for this forum, spats over Jersey City as NYC's competition are common, it was only 50-75 years ago that Buffalo fit that role. As the second-largest city of NYS, and at one time America's 10th-largest city, it gave NYC a run for its money, that is until after World War II when people and companies began moving out to the 'burbs or to the Sunbelt. Populations of Upstate cities have tanked since their peaks in the 1950's. For example, Buffalo went from more than half a million in 1950, to 200,000-something in 2000. Syracuse went from 200,000+ during World War II, to 100,000-something recently. Albany has dipped below the 100,000 mark. Although there are some hints of new life Upstate (Finger Lakes as Wine Country, Ithaca and Syracuse at college towns, Buffalo renovating old buildings for residential and small business use) the region as a whole is continuing to shrink. What can be done to reverse the region's misfortunes? On SSP I heard complaints from an Upstate perspective, but I'm wondering what people in the NYC area think?

July 24th, 2005, 07:29 PM
Although Buffalo's decline is well storied and dramatic, it never gave nyc a "run for it's money" - it's nickname is queen city, as in subordinate. It enjoyed unsustainable growth because of its role in the transportation infrastructure as a link between the erie canal and the great lake. If it weren't for that one fact, it could have endured all the other typical urban woes after WWII without drying up like it did. I think the area will rebound slowly (even Binghamton is showing sings of revitalizaiton) but it will be slow and uninteresting to watch.

I'll venture a guess that the consensus from the board for a solution would be "cut it free"

July 24th, 2005, 08:13 PM
DestiNY USA (http://www.destinyusa.com/home/?page=home)

July 24th, 2005, 09:04 PM

July 25th, 2005, 12:33 AM
Oh that is facinating. A gated community/mall? Clear Channel as a corporate partner? This is going to be a spectacular mess to watch.

July 25th, 2005, 12:46 AM
It's not so much a gated community as a fully enclosed technological research center which will include a lot of retail and tourist attractions. That's what it's described as, anyway. From what I've read, so far the only thing in the works is the expansion of the Carousel Center, which is the area's current large shopping mall. The entire complex will somehow grow out of that. I'm still confused as to why I haven't heard about this at all on TV or in the newspapers. Some of the renderings do look incredible though.

July 28th, 2005, 03:40 PM
"easily accessible to 130 million residents throughout the northeast United States and Canada," Um, what?

"this master-planned development will be the most visited single leisure destination on earth." WOW!

July 28th, 2005, 03:51 PM
I think the 180 residents refers to within 300 miles/6 hour drive or something like that. Makes sense when talking about proposals for regional cargo airports (a good idea for the area) but not in this context...

TLOZ Link5
July 29th, 2005, 12:06 PM

July 31st, 2005, 12:00 AM
Excellent link TLoz. I spent two years at SUNY U at Buffalo earlier this decade, took a bunch of classes on architecture and urban planning, and it became painfully obvious, once I was up to speed on politics-as-relating-to-the-built-environment, that for all the wanting to get better, things just don't seem to click there. I was always confused over the TWO supposed figureheads in newspaper headlines - Mayor Tony Masiello and County Executive Joel Giambra.

It can't be said enough of the stranglehold Buffalo's affluent suburbs have on the city's fortunes. I thought this to be an interesting tidbit from the site-
"According to the Brookings Institution, Buffalo has the highest sprawl index of any major city in the country. The Brookings sprawl index is the ratio of new home builds to new household creation. The study notes that the Greater Buffalo Region builds four new houses for every new household started."
mmmmmm, all those McMansions being built is making me hungry (for anything other than McDonalds). And they're definitely not being built in B-lo or Cheekto-vegas.

On the other hand, I must give a shout-out to Albany - my hometown - which is doing pretty well thankyouverymuch. Our first private office tower in 14 years was completed this year, ringing in at a stunning 12 stories and 174,000 sq ft, but of course it's resulted in more shifting of leased space than new jobs created. Still, development has been quite steady over the course of the last 8-10 years. Pataki got about 4,500 jobs back downtown in three new buildings, plus much development occured on Washington Ave near SUNY Albany circa 2000. And more recently we've been hearing lots of hooplah and have seen a moderate amount of construction on new Nano- and other hi-tech facilities all over the region. So hip hip hooray, I can feel somewhat mushy about my town versus the rest of my upstate compatriots.

As for destiNY.....I honestly don't see Syracuse, NY, USA becoming an ultimate destination point. Sure Syracuse University's basketball team has been freakin' smoking as of late (that'll probably end after this coming season unfortunately) but other than that, what the hell is there to keep our ever shortening attention spans focused of Syracuse once we leave the site? Ohhh...we're not supposed to venture out. OK. Lovely. Walkable downtowns here we come.